Several months ago, I learned that Neil Gaiman was going to be the keynote speaker for the Vegas Valley Book Festival. This is the closest he’s come to visiting Utah since I moved here, since I live only 5 or 6 hours away from Las Vegas by car (depending on how many times I stop to stare at the weird and magical-looking Yucca trees along the way because remember, I’m from the Midwest).
I have a major literary crush on Neil Gaiman. His English accent is also wonderful, and listening to him read his own writing delights me in a very primitive (yet somewhat highbrow) manner.
I made a hotel reservation and hoped that Ben and I would be able to take a long weekend to Vegas… spend some time at the Book Festival with Neil Gaiman on Thursday and then galavant around the tourist-ridden city of gamblers and 3am steak & egg breakfasts.
But lots of little things contributed to canceling the trip altogether. Vegas itself isn’t that thrilling for us anymore, we have more pressing needs for our cash right now, Ben is still a little sick and would have to take time off work for a guy on whom his wife has a literary crush, etc.
I even briefly considered going by myself just for a day or maybe overnight, but ultimately decided not to. I consoled myself with the knowledge that as much as I love Neil Gaiman, and would love to meet him someday, there would surely be tons of people at the free festival and I didn’t really want to drive 10-12 hours for a quick keynote and to stand in line forever for a brief encounter and book signing.
Just did a lovely signing — only about fifty people altogether, which meant that I got to talk to everyone and draw in their books, admire their tattoos and so forth. Really pleasant.
DAMMIT DAMMIT SONOFABITCH DAMMIT! I should have been there.